In the 17th century, a pirate captain is murdered by his cook after he buries his treasure and marks it on a map but the poor-memory cook must rely on the captain's ghost to re-track the loot, since the map was drawn in disappearing ink.
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Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his ... See full summary »
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A pirate crewman kills his captain after learning where he has hidden his buried treasure. However, as he begins to lose his memory, he relies more and more on the ghost of the man he just murdered to help him find the loot.Written by
Filmed independently in 1973 for Columbia Pictures release, it was shelved by the studio, reportedly due to the "too parochial" nature of its comic content. Thought to be incomplete and unfinished, it reappeared on pay-TV over a decade later, in 1984. See more »
When Bill Bombay throws a cannonball supposedly made of silver at Scratcher's head it bounces off, hits the water and floats away. See more »
Peter Sellers plays Dick Scratcher (ha,ha), a cook for a pirate ship who takes over as captain after he murders the previous one. Although he's witnessed a treasure being buried, he begins losing his memory and the treasure map he obtains becomes blank. Thus, Dick is forced to find someone who can see and communicate with ghosts (do you place an ad for that?) and help lead a path to the treasure. It's mind boggling how anyone could have bankrolled this pointless film. Former Goon Spike Milligan replaced Medak as director, and given Medak's talents in the film The Ruling Class, you can probably guess which of the grainy, poorly lit scenes had Milligan in the director's chair. Peter Boyle makes a brief appearance in the film's first 10 minutes as the doomed pirate captain. He's probably quite thankful that Young Frankenstein was released the same year this was filmed and canned, so that he can keep this off his resume. Franciosa looks dashing as the handsome power-behind-Scratcher but he and Seller both look pretty desperate, with even Sellers' makeup and hair looking quite terrible. They had to know this movie was bombing even as they were filming it. With lines like these, I can understand any possible unease:
PIERRE: (about to be hanged) You'll pay for this.
SCRATCHER: No, I won't. I'll do it for free.
And that's one of the GOOD jokes. It's amazing to me that much of Sellers prolific material is still in the vaults, but this was made available on VHS more than 15 years ago! How about someone stepping up to the plate and releasing in the US the well-received British TV program "A Show Called Fred" starring Sellers, Milligan, and directed by the great Richard Lester?
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